On a grant and a prayer
Back in October, we submitted a grant to State Farm’s Neighborhood Assist program for $25,000 to build out our new bus into a mobile resource center and soup kitchen to help the homeless communities of DFW. We need to build a new bus. The current bus has served us well but is aging fast. One of the reasons our mobile resource center and soup kitchen has been so successful is because we consistently show up to the same places each week. People know they can count on the Metro Relief Bus to be a reliable source of aid and relief. Consistency is key to building trusting relationships with the homeless community; these trusting relationships then become critical to helping people connect with other available resources. Metro Relief would use the $25,000 to retrofit a Crown Coach Bus in the following ways:
- Equipment, such as a 3 part stainless steel sink and duplex to power hot water heater and water pump.
- Electrical, such as exterior lights to supply ample lighting at night events.
- Water System/Plumbing, such as a 30 Gallon fresh water tank with refill feed.
- Material for Interior Build Out and Mobile Soup Kitchen Serving Window.
Crazy horn = crazy results
Changing communities always starts with changing individual lives. Take, for example, Jada, a young woman who has been living on her own since she was 13. To support herself on the streets, Jada dealt drugs in the fifth ward of Houston, TX. She learned to be tough, street smart and guarded in order to survive. Jada had been homeless in Ft. Worth for a full year before she started coming to the Metro Relief Bus for lunch every Friday afternoon. She had heard people talk about the bus for months before deciding to risk meeting its staff and volunteers. Her first visit was May 27, 2016. She says, “l never forget seeing that giant orange and blue bus come sailing down the road, blaring its crazy horn while homeless folk gathered up their stuff to go have lunch and talk with the people from Metro Relief.” Three months later, Jada is now living with the foster family with whom Metro Relief connected her with, working full-time, and looking into local community colleges to start taking classes.
Votes! Votes! Votes!
From the end of October, we had until November 4th to get as many votes as we could to receive the grant. Thanks to you on November 30th we found out that we made it! On January 18th, State Farm presented Metro Relief with the big check. It was broadcasted to one of our local News station CBS 11. Check out the clip below and thank you again for voting. We will post updates as we begin the process of renovating the bus.